My best friend is a wife and a mother of three beautiful children. She lives in a giant, beautiful, old home in the historic district of Oak Park. They have a full-time nanny, a backyard, and loads of friends who also have nannies and backyards.
I love her children as if they were my niece and nephews. We play trains together, put together puzzles, and read books. We discuss their school days and I show them on the map where I’m traveling next.
While being auntie is great and I enjoy being able to “give them back” when they’re crying, snotting, or have a dirty nappy, I want more than just being AA (their nickname for Aunt Ashley). I, too, want to be a wife, mother, and owner of a home with a backyard. And while I love being an auntie who can do whatever I want when I want, including multiple vacations a year, date nights by myself to the movies, and trying out new dance classes that start at obscenely late hours (8:30?!), I fear this isn’t going to be enough for the rest of my life.
Continue reading New Dating App: I’M READY (like, yesterday)
As a non-religious, but spiritual [insert yogi-minded] person, the idea of fate is a tricky one. I know that there is no god up in the air manipulating my marionette strings to do and say certain things. I don’t believe that my life’s plan was already written before I was born. But, this idea of fate – yes the idea of fate, not the pre-determined by god, supernatural definition of fate – has always been very striking to me.
I truly believe that things happen for a reason. Not because they were “destined to” or because someone wrote it in the “book of Ashley”, but because life is mysterious. Life works its way so that when one event happens it changes the course of future events. Or maybe because an event happened, you’ve learned this grand (or small) life lesson that’ll inform how you lead the rest of your life.
When I was in Toronto recently a guy I knew in college posted online that he was also visiting Toronto. I wrote, “I’m here, too! Enjoy!” Immediately, he messaged me: let’s meet up! I was with my parents and figured that leaving the house at 10pm to meet up with a bachelor party wasn’t the best idea. He lives in Chicago, though, so I suggested we meet up when we both returned stateside. We made plans for the following week, and continued to talk throughout the whole weekend.
Continue reading Are you there, Fate? It’s me, Ashley.
I woke up on a recent Friday morning inexplicably happy. A smile was permanently on my face from the time the alarm buzzed to the time I got home. I was terribly nice to every person who called me at work. I ended every email with a: Have a great weekend!
It’s hard to believe that this happiest of happy days was only 1 week after the boy-of-nearly-7-months and I had broken up. I was, in fact, happy that the relationship was over. The boy-of-nearly-7-months and I weren’t perfect matches. We tried fitting ourselves together like two mismatched puzzle pieces for the last 5 months of the relationship and it consistently ended up with a lopsided puzzle. I miss my partner in crime, but I don’t really miss the boy-of-nearly-7-months (though I do miss his dog a whole lot).
Continue reading Bruised and Broken up, but not Broken
“Let Go and Let God”
It’s certainly not an expression you’d ever hear me say, let alone believe, yet when a friend wrote about it in a recent blog post, it stuck with me. Not because I believe that God is doing anything for me, but because sometimes I really do need to let go and let life happen as it happens.
The guy I’m dating may soon be the guy I dated. We had “the talk” last night and agreed to meet up this weekend to discuss where we see our relationship going. I don’t have high hopes. For the last 24 hours, I’ve been nervously chewing over every little thing about him, about us, about me, about my future, about…you get the point. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t do anything other than think about the fact that I may be single very soon and if that’s something I actually want (because, admittedly, it might be something that I want even though it terrifies me).
My brain hurts. My heart hurts. My eyeballs hurt. And, while I can’t physically eat a giant cupcake or guzzle a glass of wine right now, I can Let Go and Let God or more appropriately for me – let go. I don’t have to decide today, tomorrow, or next week who I’m going to marry, if I should have a baby by myself, if I should adopt a kid, or if I should move to Seattle to start fresh. Instead, today, tomorrow, and next week, I need to take part in some self-love in order to let go.
In the past seven years that I’ve been writing this blog I’ve talked at length about dating, including touching on the infamous and rarely discussed amongst couples: “Girl Brain.”
Girl Brain is the ever-present reason why girls act the way they do around boys.
It’s been so long since I’ve been in a “real relationship” that I associated Girl Brain only to the beginnings of a relationship aka the dating stage. Yet, here I sit 6 1/2 months into a relationship – the second longest I’ve ever dated someone IN MY LIFE (feel free to applaud now) – and I’m here to tell you that Girl Brain does exist while in a relationship, too.
Continue reading Girl Brain 2.0
I liken dating to a stairway in the dark.
When you meet someone new, you walk into a dark, unknown space. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what’s inside. Eventually, you find stairs and you start to climb. The higher you climb, the more the excitement builds.
Sometimes the stairs end after one single step – a few words exchanged on a dating app – and you tumble over. It isn’t far, so it’s not a giant crash. You aren’t bruised at all.
Sometimes the stairs end after one story – a first date followed quickly by a ghosting – and you topple off the top of the steps. It hurts a bit, but you’ve been there before. Brush yourself off, walk out the door, ready for the next guy.
Sometimes the stairs are three stories high – a month or two of dating and then poof! When the relationship ends, the stairs end. You can never see where they’ll stop, but you can feel the fall. And this time it hurts. A lot.
Continue reading Dating: A Stairway in the Dark